How hospital ownership is changing: A CFO's thoughts on ASC, hospital relations

Michael Walsh, CFO of Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Dominican Hospital, a Dignity Health Hospital, spoke with Becker's ASC Review about the evolving partnership between ASCs and hospitals as well as how hospitals can drive volume to surgery centers.

Note: The following responses were slightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: How is the relationship between ASCs and hospitals changing?

Michael Walsh: With the reimbursement methodologies changing and the continued escalation of salary cost for hospital employees, the need to have a lower cost solution is imperative. Plus, the decline in the [remaining number of] independent physicians makes ASCs more of an important strategy for hospital ownership.
Q:  What differentiates a successful ASC-hospital partnership from an unsuccessful one?

MW: Historically hospital ownership was viewed as a capital investor and not one that brings the volume into the center. This trend has changed now with hospitals owning medical groups. In fact, hospitals should also be credited when they recruit new independent physicians into the market. Without the relocation package that the hospital offers, there would be less volume going to the ASC.

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